Dispatches C4 and dealing with Estate Agents

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What to watch out for with Estate Agents

Dispatches on Channel 4 this week put the spotlight on bad practice from Estate Agents with regard to pressurised selling of mortgage services.

This is an issue we discussed in our dealing with estate agents blog earlier this year.

The programme highlighted the practice of pressurising buyers to use in house mortgage brokers and showed several examples.

These included:

  • telling the buyer their offer will be recommended above others if they use the in-house mortgage team
  • telling the buyer the property would only be taken off the market if they used the in-house mortgage team
  • telling the buyer subsequent offers would be withheld from the vendor if the buyer used the in-house mortgage team

All of these practices contravene the Estate Agency codes of conduct.

Buy to live – mortgage fraud

The second half of the programme focused on examples of mortgage fraud where buyers who could not afford residential mortgages were encouraged to take out buy to let mortgage deals. The Dispatches researchers were able to find Estate Agents within a large national chain recommending this illegal practice to potential buyers.

The Estate Agency concerned were quoted on the programme as saying ‘Manipulating lender criteria and providing false or misleading information is not accepted’.

Comparing notes

Unfortunately the programme did not cover another practice which we believe can be equally damaging to buyers. This is where the estate agent and their mortgage broker compare notes on affordability in order to drive the buyer towards a higher offer.

Perhaps this will be covered in a future episode of Dispatches.

The solution

If you are looking to purchase and do not want to be disadvantaged by the estate agent, or encouraged to get involved in mortgage fraud, speak to our independent team of mortgage brokers.

Call us now on 020 8979 9684

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